April 25, 2011

Baltimore as an “Open City”

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

MICA’s 2010–11 Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) will curate and create artwork for Baltimore: Open City, a free exhibition and series of interactive events. The students have invited scholars, activists, community-based organizations, local artists and visiting artist Damon Rich to develop installations and public programs, coinciding with National Fair Housing Month, that investigate the ways in which people feel welcome or unwelcome in Baltimore neighborhoods. Through May 15, Baltimore: Open City will take place at the former North Avenue Market, 16 W. North Ave. Additional exhibition venues include a mobile unit that will act like an exhibition on wheels traveling around the city, and a downtown pop up shop at 142 W. Fayette St.  Learn more about the exhibition at

About the MFA in Curatorial Practice

The annual EDS program was created by George Ciscle, curator-in-residence and chair of MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice, to examine all aspects of the curatorial process through the research, planning and production of a major exhibition. The new MFA, which prepares students for the expanding role curators are playing in creating a vibrant cultural life in today’s global society, is the first of its kind in the nation. The MFA in Curatorial Practice features collaborative and individual curatorial projects that allow students to explore new methods of exhibition presentation in order to create relevant, timely and accessible exhibitions for their audiences.

About Baltimore The Exhibition, Baltimore: Open City

This year’s EDS exhibition features artists and works that include:
Celebrated street artist and MICA senior Gaia, who contributes with The Legacy Project;
Social Stoops Project, which provides seating made from marble stoops from soon-to-be demolished row homes;
Baltimore Heavy Hitters, a Dungeons & Dragons-style playing card game pits heroes of Baltimore’s open housing movement against the forces of segregation and exclusion;
The Arsenal of Exclusion, a mural, which depicts 101 methods of exclusion.

Other highlights include a timeline of spatial segregation in Baltimore; interviews with citizens, scholars and activists; an A-Z glossary of policies, practices and institutions that have produced and combated the city’s spatial segregation; and an oral history project. Public programs include city tours with EDS historian-in-residence Antero Pietila and architect and preservationist Dale Glenwood Green, as well as panel discussions.

The exhibition hours at the former North Avenue Market will be Wednesday–Sunday, 2–8 p.m.; the pop up shop will be open Wednesday-Saturday, noon–6 p.m.

Baltimore: Open City is part of an ongoing, global investigation of the open city, which was initiated by architect and urban designer Kees Christiaanse for the 2009 International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

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